The Grammy Awards on CBS Sunday night could have easily turned into a wake - or worse, a funeral. After Whitney Houston's death Saturday, the mood was appropriately somber until a dance party broke out, or perhaps a coming-out party for dance music.
Forever trying to keep abreast of the times, the Grammys have given an award for Best Electronic/Dance Album since 2005 (first winner: Basement Jaxx's Kish Kash). But the genre has never featured in the televised portion of the Grammys as it was Sunday. Besides R&B Album winner Chris Brown's kinetic calisthenics, which riled up the ladies on Twitter, Katy Perry's booming dance-pop "Part of Me" also scored a solid hit.
Most of all it proved that electronic music can make great television. With some florescent lights left over from Coldplay and Rihanna's performance (which never quite jelled), the "club" segment with Brown, David Guetta and Lil Wayne pumped up the flagging broadcast - then in its third hour - with some much-needed energy. Then those people in freaky mouse costumes bobbing their heads to Deadmau5's squelchy, simmering remix of the Foo Fighters' "Rope" left me wondering what Tony Bennett thought about all of this.
In more than three hours, it was one of the few moments truly worthy of an occasion host LL Cool J repeatedly touted as "music's biggest night."